Organic Food Certification in South Africa: A Private Sector Mechanism in Need of State Regulation?

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2016/v19i0a584

Keywords:

organic food, organic in conversion, certification, accreditation, regulation, standards

Abstract

Organic production targets the development of a sustainable cultivation system and a variety of high-quality products with emphasis on environmental protection, biodiversity and high standards of animal protection. In South Africa, the organic sector pioneered private practices and systems in small informal groups to guide the public and private sectors on environmental and sustainability issues. A private certification system for organic products is applicable in the country consisting of network certification and third-party certification in collaboration with foreign and locally-based certification organisations. Local producers also use self-declaratory vendor claims associated with organic labels. A State auditor mechanism is nonetheless applicable with respect to the use of the term “free range” on labels for meat products. South African National Standards (SANS 1369) on Organic Agricultural Production and Processing (OAPP) have been drafted by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) but the final version has not yet been made public. There is presently no specific legislation on organic products in the country but draft regulations (under the Agricultural Product Standards Act) on the control and sale of organic products which have not yet been promulgated. With mainly a private organic food certification system, to what extent do South African organic food products respect rules of organic production? This paper looks into the organic food regulation in South Africa and examines how far this private sector mechanism for organic food certification is in need of State regulation.

 

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Author Biography

Odile Juliette Lim Tung, North West University

Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Law (Potchefstroom Campus), North West University.

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Published

2017-05-17

How to Cite

Lim Tung, O. J. (2017). Organic Food Certification in South Africa: A Private Sector Mechanism in Need of State Regulation?. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 19, 1–48. https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2016/v19i0a584

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